We’re a Bunch of Expensive Financial Clerks

Brent C. James, MD, MSTAT, explains an experimental next-generation electronic medical record that uses activity-based design. Like an electronic clinical scribe, a doctor can talk about what he or she is doing, and the computer system captures it and coverts it into automatable computable data. The original intent of EMRs was not financial, yet the current iteration is used to generate maximal fee-for-service billing, and that’s the reason physicians spend 2 hours at a computer for every hour they spend with patients. According to James, the system currently serves “a bunch of very expensive financial clerks” and should be redesigned for physicians.

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